Anglicans 1, Lutherans 0 (for Universalism)

I had heard that Universalism was condemned by the last of the Church of England’s Forty-Two “Articles of Religion” of 1553 but I had never seen the offending plank. I had heard, correctly, that it was removed when the articles were recast as the Thirty-nine Articles that (some) Episcopalians know and love today. (Some of these were later rendered void in the United States.)

See Articles of Religion of 1553 and 1572 compared.

XLII. All men shall not bee saued at the length.

Thei also are worthie of condem­nacion, who indeuoure at this time to restore the dangerouse opinion, that al menne, be thei neuer so vngodlie, shall at length bee saued, when thei haue suffered paines for their sinnes a certaine time appoincted by Goddes iustice.

Of course, we all know about the denunciation of Universalism in the Lutheran Augsburg Confession of 1530, right. I suppose it is still there: article seventeen. Of course things were rockier in those early days of the Reformation. (The Arians and Muslims get it in article one.)

They condemn the Anabaptists, who think that there will be an end to the punishments of condemned men and devils.

Who are you calling a devil?

3 Replies to “Anglicans 1, Lutherans 0 (for Universalism)”

  1. This is interesting–were the Anabaptists universalists? I never knew that about them (not that I know much about them otherwise).

  2. – I know that some Anabaptists are foundationally small-u universalists. For example, classical Brethren theology is universal restorationist. But in modern times this has been eroded by Wesleyan Holiness style revivalism, and its focus on crisis conversion.

  3. For quite a while, universalist anabaptists made up 1 of the three biggest groupings. There was also a great majority who were annihilationist in one way or another.

    But if you think you guys get slated in the historical confessions of other church groups, spare a thought for us! :o) We’re still condemned in the 39 articles.

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